Americans Remain One Down

By Sports NetworkSeptember 23, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- Friday's four-ball session saw injuries, a disagreement on the role of the captain, a weather delay that lasted over an hour and the International team maintaining their lead over the United States.
 
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk helped Tiger Woods win his first better-ball match in the Presidents Cup.
Each team captured three points on Friday, giving the International team a 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 lead after two days of The Presidents Cup at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
 
The most intriguing match saw Americans Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods win the anchor match against Stuart Appleby and Mark Hensby, 3 and 2. Furyk injured his ribs on Thursday and waited until the last possible minute to stay in the match. Woods hurt his back and received treatment on the course Friday.
 
'Sore. It's sore,' said Woods, who won his first four-ball match in his fourth Presidents Cup.
 
'They're doing better,' acknowledged Furyk, referring to his ribs. 'I had a lot of movement today. I wasn't playing in any pain. I have no complaints today.'
 
Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco halved their match with reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and Argentina's Angel Cabrera. Adam Scott and Retief Goosen continued their strong play for the Internationals with a 3 and 1 win over Fred Couples and David Toms.
 
Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank remain undefeated for the United States as they posted a 2 and 1 victory over Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir. Fred Funk and Stewart Cink halved their match with world No. 2 Vijay Singh and Tim Clark.
 
Davis Love III and Kenny Perry continued to struggle as they fell 3 and 2 to Peter Lonard and Nick O'Hern.
 
There was a weather delay that lasted over an hour as severe weather came through the area. When the teams headed back to the range, captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were engaged in a conversation about coaching.
 
Player's vice-captain Ian Baker-Finch was coaching players, which is a violation of the rules. Only the captain is allowed to advise the players, but Player designated Baker-Finch as the one who could give advice.
 
'There was a misunderstanding,' said Player. 'Jack said when we discussed it, 'no big deal.' He was concerned we were both giving advice, which we really can't do.'
 
Woods and Furyk won the first hole and never trailed. They were 2-up when the delay came, but Woods hit a pitching-wedge to 2 feet to set up birdie at 11. Furyk sank a 25-foot birdie putt at 12 and the U.S. was 4-up.
 
Appleby birdied the 14th to give the Internationals some life. Hensby ran home a short birdie putt at 15 and all of a sudden, the U.S. was only 2-up.
 
Furyk took care of the match at No. 16. His partner was in the right rough, but Furyk's approach hopped over the hole and stopped 8 feet from the cup. He sank the birdie putt to give his side the point.
 
'They made two nice putts there and all of a sudden we've got to come down 16,' said Woods. 'Jimmy decided to play his three best shots all day. Perfect timing.'
 
Funk and Cink never fell behind, but lost their 1-up lead when the Internationals won the ninth. Cink sank a 15-foot birdie putt to put the Americans ahead at the 11th, but Clark knotted the contest with a birdie putt from the fringe at the 13th.
 
The Internationals handed their foes the 16th when Clark missed from 6 feet and Singh failed from a few feet closer. Singh ran home a 4-footer for birdie at the 17th to square the match with a hole to play.
 
Singh badly missed the fairway when his drive struck a photographer at 18. Clark was in the fairway with both Americans and the approaches were not spectacular. Cink went over the green, Clark came up short and Funk was 50 feet away. Singh knocked his second to 15 feet.
 
Clark and Funk both left themselves with 4-footers for par. Cink's chip nearly fell in the hole, so the Americans were conceded par. Singh badly pulled his birdie try that could have won, so the match was halved.
 
The first match saw the Americans grab a 1-up lead at the second hole, but the Internationals evened it when Cabrera rolled in a 10-footer at the fifth.
 
Campbell and Cabrera won the eighth to move 1-up, then extended the margin with a win at the 12th. DiMarco looked like he would cut that score with a 7-foot birdie putt at the 14th, but the putt ran all the way around the hole before lipping out.
 
The Americans responded, capturing the 15th and DiMarco riled the gallery up with a 10-footer for birdie at 17. Campbell putted first for the Internationals and missed a 6-footer, then Cabrera's 15-footer did not fall so the match was all-square with one to play.
 
Mickelson and DiMarco both missed long birdie putts, but were in with par at the last. Campbell found a bit of bad luck as his approach at 18 spun back to the fringe. His chip from 25 feet lipped out and it was up to Cabrera to win the match. Cabrera's 20-footer never touched the hole, so the match was halved.
 
'He's one of the toughest guys we have on tour. I'm proud he's on the American side. I'm proud to have him as my partner,' gushed Mickelson. 'The birdies he had on 15 and 17 were two of the most impressive birdies.'
 
Scott and Goosen continued their fine play from Thursday when they thumped Woods and Couples, 4 and 3. The Internationals moved 4-up through the first six holes, but the Americans fought back.
 
They cut the gap in half by the 12th hole and when Couples rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the 13th, the U.S. side trailed 1-down. Couples made a tough 6-footer to halve the 14th, but missed a putt shorter than that at 15 and dropped the Americans to 2-down with three to play.
 
Couples looked like he got one back for the U.S. at 16, but his 12-footer for birdie horse shoed the hole. The Internationals won No. 17 for the 3-and-1 victory.
 
'Adam played very well today,' said Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open winner. 'A few times I hit it in the middle of the lake. I struggled today, but he kept his game.'
 
Leonard and Verplank trailed early, but squared the contest when Verplank drained a 6-footer at the ninth. Verplank continued his fine play with a short birdie putt at the par-5 12th and a 15-footer at No. 13, both American wins.
 
Immelman and Weir got back to 1-down when they took the 15th, but Verplank slammed the door shut at 17. His approach spun back to 3 feet and he converted the birdie putt to give this team their second win in as many matches.
 
Lonard and O'Hern jumped on Love and Perry to the tune of a 5-up lead at the turn. The American duo fought back with three straight wins from the 10th, but the deficit was still 2-down.
 
The U.S. side looked to be in trouble with Lonard in close at the 16th, but O'Hern stole the show with long birdie putt. Love missed his chance to halve and extend the match.
 
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